Master of Science in Journalism

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Hammad Sarfraz, Lecturer, Centre for Excellence in Journalism

Project Type

MSJ Capstone

Abstract / Summary

The story revolves around Pakistan’s powerful mafias who illegally occupy state and private property, mostly in urban areas and unclaimed land. They are backed by the police, bureaucracy and politicians. This is a norm in countries where these encroachers occupy a piece of land for as long as they want without any legal right or documents. These encroachers occupy the property for weeks, months or even years before voluntarily leaving it for a better spot or being forcefully evicted by city authorities. Saddar, the city’s center; is considered a safe haven for these land grabbers. For decades the heart of Karachi’s commercial hub has been encroached by illegal occupiers. According to the Global Index report (2018), published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Karachi is among the 10 worst cities in the world to live in. Examples of how the poor meet their everyday livelihood requirements can be seen in Karachi’s Saddar area in the form of encroaching on spaces by local vendors and hawkers. The story also highlights all the harm development projects do to the people of the city with the KCR affected - Gharibabad colony – as a case study.